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December 28, 2004

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Moebius Stripper

But that poll you linked was about people's beliefs in evolution versus creationism. Sure, a lot of people have no idea what they're talking about, but i see no reason to doubt that that poll isn't an accurate reflection of what people think about the way human beings come to be.

In any case, even if the CBS poll was loaded, it's comforting that someone (or someones...) skewed it so that people appear more mathematically ept that they are, rather than less. One does tire of the "*giggle* I could never do math! There's no point in doing math!" that one hears from one's students.

Jeff Erickson

"But that poll you linked was about people's beliefs in evolution versus creationism." According to the poll, 37% of people want schools to teach creationism instead of evolution, and 65% want them to teach creationism and evolution together. So the other -2% prefer teaching only evolution? Too bad CBS didn't bother to ask.

Um, no. It's not believable.

But yes, it's nice that CBS is skewing the Numb3rs poll away from the usual tee-hee-math-is-so-hard attitude.

Moebius Stripper

I'm going to be unnecessarily charitable and offer that a sizable number of the "teach evolution and creationism" crew hold the same beliefs as me: that creationism should be taught as an example of a specious argument whose acceptance relies upon scientific illiteracy. Just about everyone I know thinks that creationism is bunk, but I know very few people who can effectively refute the pseudoscience behind the most sophisticated arguments in the creationism argument. (The egregious misunderstanding of the second law of thermodynamics comes to mind.)

But I digress. I should mention that I really don't take online polls as gospel, anyway. (Last year, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Globe and Mail after they ran an online poll with the question "would you donate an organ to save the life of a stranger?" Apparently, 2/3 of people would. I asked what we should make of the fact that a mere 3.5% of eligible Canadians donate blood.)

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